Etag, And Everything That Comes With It

We used to jokingly say you can never claim to have tried genuine Sagada “etag” (cured pork) if you haven’t had one with those wriggling “foodstuff” that sometimes come with a chunk. I had my fair share way back and fortunately had the stomach to literally stomach it. But of course that’s not a recommendation….

“Batik-o” Had Me At Hello

Food captivated me the moment I entered my grandfather’s nipa hut when I was barely four years old. My young mind vividly recalls the sight of corn, tied in a bunch and drying near the “dapwan” (hearth), meat that was darkened by the smoke, and the sound of chickens clucking somewhere in the corner. There…

Sagada Folk Tales: Si Sal-salak-en

It’s that dreaded time of the year when the sun will never take a peep out from the ominous dark skies and you have to wet-proof yourself from the non-stop downpours. Such weather dampened an already gruesome Monday morning as I find myself stuck at the bus stop for a ride that will seemingly never…

As they light those fires, I reminisce…

My earliest memories of the Anglican cemetery of St. Mary the Virgin in Sagada that we fondly call “Kamusanto”  (Campo Santo) with the eloquence of the local tongue were when I was but 5 or 6 years of age. I went there with my old man for almost two weeks straight when he was constructing…

Sagada Folk Tales: The Legend of Lake Danum

Way before this placid little lake became a subject of  boundary issues and there was no dissent whether to call it Banao or Danum; long before cows grazed its now dwindling patches of green, and before flocks of tourists did jump shots against a mesmerizing fiery backdrop of the sunset,  this place was once a plain plateau, a…

Dear Local Tourist

Another long weekend has passed and you’re probably posting your pictures on Facebook and Instagram about your marvelous trip to Sagada. Those numerous photos you’ve taken using that ridiculous monopod which you’ve waved around town while you clicked at ooh-this and aah-that with your face always somewhere in the picture. You become the envy of…

Pinay Diaries: Going Dorothy (There’s No Place Like Home)

It’s been a month. After making that fateful decision of starting a new life away from what I’ve grown accustomed to for more than two years (albeit not comfortably as I would have wanted to), I now find myself smelling like a dog, gaining more than a few unnecessary pounds, being a freeloader under Mama’s…

Experience the Ultimate Jamaican Vibe at Ysagada Downtown Bistro

Your Sagada experience will not be complete if you don’t dedicate some hours getting lost in the Jamaican vibe that the locals are particularly fond of. The legendary Marley’s reggae influence has found home in this rustic tourist town. The new place in town is Ysagada Downtown Bistro. Formerly, “Kusina Ysagada”, YSAGADA has undergone a…